Trials of New Anti-Covid Drug Launched in UK
A large-scale trial of a new treatment has begun in the UK, with high hopes of helping Covid-19 patients stop developing serious illness.
The new treatment involves inhaling a protein called Interferon Beta, which the body produces in infection.
The hope is that this will stimulate the immune system and the cells will be prepared to fight viruses.
Initial results from the trials showed that treatment reduced by nearly 80 percent the chances of patients in hospital with Covid-19 developing severe diseases.
Results from phase two trials of around 100 patients last year also indicated "very significant" reductions in breathlessness, while the average time patients spent in hospital was reduced by a third — down from an average of nine days to six days.
The method was developed at the University Hospital of Southampton. A team of scientists has found that people with lung diseases such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease often have low levels of Interferon Beta.
It is assumed that such treatment will cost about 2,000 pounds, which experts say is not very expensive for a hospital. Meanwhile, Health Minister Matt Hancock this morning did not deny that the government had plans to move patients from hospitals to hotels as hospitals were flooded by new people infected with Covid-19.
The minister denied reports that the government was under pressure from members of the ruling Conservative Party to end the lockdown on March 8, adding that it was not possible to say at this stage when the restrictions would be lifted.